Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. served as a two-term governor of the state of Indiana from 2004 to 2012 and as the 12th president of Purdue University from 2013 to 2022. He currently serves a Distinguished Scholar and Senior Advisor at the Liberty Fund.
He was elected governor in his first bid for any elected office, and then re-elected with more votes than any candidate in the state’s history. During his tenure, Indiana went from an $800 million deficit to its first AAA credit rating, led the nation in infrastructure building, passed sweeping education and healthcare reforms, and transformed its business climate into one of the nation’s best.
At Purdue, Daniels prioritized student affordability and reinvestment in the university’s strengths. He ended 36 straight years of rising prices by freezing tuition and mandatory fees at 2012 levels for all students. The freeze is still in place today. As a result, the total cost of attendance is lower today than in 2012, even without adjusting for inflation and aggregate student borrowing has declined 37%.
In recognition of his leadership as both a governor and a university president, Daniels was named among the Top 50 Greatest World Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2015 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019. In 2023, Purdue University named its business school the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business.
Prior to becoming governor, Daniels served as chief of staff to Senator Richard Lugar, senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan and Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush. He also was the CEO of the Hudson Institute and had an 11-year career as an executive at Eli Lilly and Company.
Daniels earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a law degree from Georgetown. He is the author of three books and a contributing columnist in the Washington Post.
He and his wife Cheri have four daughters and eight grandchildren.